JOE HART hailed matchwinner Liel Abada after the Israeli winger fired Celtic to within two points of the Premiership pinnacle.

The game against Dundee United was deadlocked at 0-0 with the clock ticking down until the summer recruit fired in the last-gasp winner.

Hart, who was rarely troubled during the match, praised his team-mate after after he claimed the winner in the fading moments to narrow the gap at the top of the table to just two points ahead of Wednesday night’s Glasgow derby in the east end of Glasgow.

Celtic were down to 10 men at the time following the dismissal of skipper-for-the-day Nir Bitton’s after picking up two yellow cards.

MATCHWINNER…Liel Abada thumps in the clincher against stubborn Dundee United.

Former England international netminder Hart, speaking to the club website, said: “It was a really important goal Liel wants to thank everyone for the reception. It’s a special moment for him doing that in the last minute.

“It was a big goal, a big moment, but there’s still a long way to go.

“We showed a lot of character. It’s a different conversation if Liel didn’t do what he did, but he did, so they’re the facts of the game and we’ve put ourselves in a good position.”

The goal was Abada’s 12th of the season and came as the game entered five minutes of added time.

The attention now turns to Wednesday’s derby confrontation and Hart added: “It’s going to be a big night. Everyone’s pumped, everyone’s excited.

The netminder added: “It’s our next game so we can actually focus on it, but it’s one game, it’s one game we need to perform to the levels that we set ourselves that we maybe didn’t quite reach today, so I think that’s more important.”



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